Colorful Character

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.”

~Ronald Reagan

I eat the red jellybeans first. After all the red jellybeans have been greedily devoured, even if small children must be shoved aside or tricked to secure them all, I then seek the red-derived jellybeans, the pinks, and the purples. Once the bounty of red, pink, and purple jellybeans has been exhausted, I lose interest rapidly. I might revisit the bowl periodically, in passing, to poke around and see if any new jellybeans of my preferred colors have spawned overnight. I might even eat an orange one, but I always regret the decision afterward. I feel that I’ve settled for less than what I wanted, less than I’d deserved, and the bitter aftertaste of self-loathing lingers.

I never, and I do mean never, eat the white or the black jellybeans. I suspect they were invented as a practical joke to make children, and adults who have forgotten how bad they taste, make funny faces. The green jellybean exists for the sole purpose of being shot out of one’s nostrils. Both nostrils at once earns extra points. Of course, accuracy is important as well. There’s art in precision. Green jellybeans should not be eaten before, or after, nostril-shooting. I’ve no idea why the other colors exist. Perhaps the were developed just so that the children will try some, deciding they don’t like jellybeans, and then leave the bowl alone so that distinguishing adults like myself can eat the red ones without any further interference, discussion, or pesky pleas to share.

I’m not sure what all this says about my character, or why Ronald Reagan thought jellybean eating methodology had any bearing on anything at all. Jellybeans, as good or as bad as they might be, are no metaphor for life. Though life may be both sweet and sticky at times, or eventually it seems, lethal, that does not equate to wad of hastily swallowed jellybeans lodged in one’s throat whilst two green jellybeans clog the nostrils. Life will kill us with or without jellybean asphyxiation.

Does it then speak to our gluttony? Our generosity? Scram, kid. The red ones are mine. Does it speak to our discerning taste? Our ability to write lengthy prose about jellybeans?

Maybe Reagan was already going over the deep end when he fired this arrow of wit into the crowd.

Maybe Reagan mixed the white and black jellybeans and was suffering green-smoke-filled hallucinations as a result of ingesting the noxious concoction.

Maybe there’s still a red one left. I’m going to go check.



I blame Lauren for this post. I was just sitting here watching Adele sing love songs to me on the TV but Lauren INSISTED that I post this instead.

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39 thoughts on “Colorful Character”

  1. Im not sure what it implies other than you might be a bit crazy, not for the way you eat or which ones in whichever order. Only because you leave the BLACK ONES!!!! They are the bomb, the best. Toss them my way please.

  2. Thank you, Lauren!! This was awesome…

    Of course now we have the deceptive and corrupt trick jelly beans (we sell them at my store), where the colors can be either good (defined cherry, lemon, etc), or bad (defined boogers, ear wax, or monkey turds, etc), and there’s no way to tell them apart until you eat them…

    Life is cruel… sigh…

    1. Creams are not my favs either. My poor hubby bought me See’s cream filled chocolates. He knew I liked See’s because I always talked about them in Colorado and Alabama, but we didn’t have See’s Candies in either of those places, so he thought he was doing well. I didn’t have the heart to tell him. I did ask, “are any of them nuts or chews?” He says, “No” and I respond “oh… okay” Do you think that was enough of a hint?

      1. While generally unfair to generalize, generally– men don’t notice hints quite as quickly as we’re expected to.. besides, our minds are filled with important data like ball scores, engine displacements, multi-core processors, and pizza. Tho once in a while, something else gets through. There’s still hope 🙂

  3. All the black ones can be shipped here! I adore them. No Yoda grimaces seen on this face.

    This was hilarious, my friend! I loved the whole thing, including the comments.

    Thanks, Lauren!

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